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Yuval spurns English to be a hit in Hebrew

ALTERNATIVE: Yuval Haring (centre) with bandmates Yuval Guttman and Dan Fabian Bloch

YUVAL Haring likes to do things differently. Not for him and his band, Vaadat Charigim, is singing in English in a bid to become more mainstream.

For Vaadat Charigim proudly sing in their native Hebrew - and have a rapidly-growing international following.

The triumvirate - Yuval (guitar and vocals), Yuval Guttman (drums)and Dan Fabian Bloch (bass) - released their second album, Sinking As A Stone, through Burger Records and Anova Music on Friday, September 25.

"I spent a long time making music in English," Yuval, who spent a number of years living in Germany, told me from Tel Aviv.

"But once I went back to Israel, singing in Hebrew just 'happened'.

"It is natural and happy for us. It can convey what we feel in our native language and adds a lot to our music."

Vaadat Charigim released their debut album, The World is Well Lost, in 2012.

That record dealt with themes of catastrophe, while their seven-track new album is, according to Yuval, about "the feeling of time passing, frustration and being aware of one's self".

The 32-year-old explained: "One of the main themes is boredom, but not in the sense of 'yawn'.

"It is saying war is boring, the way of dealing with war is boring and we need to break that cycle.

"It is boring in an existential way - when things repeat, it kind of makes you detached from reality.

"The album is an attempt to touch on the same issues as our first album, but to look at how we deal with those issues on a personal basis and how it makes them feel about their own existence.

"Most of the songs are about things repeating with no end solution."

On returning to Israel in 2012, Yuval wrote a number of songs and sent them to Yuval Guttman and Dan.

They decided to join together and form Vaadat Charigim.

The cyclical issue of war and conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is something the band feel strongly about.

Yuval, who was raised in Ramat Hasharon and is of Bulgarian and Polish descent, describes the band as "left-wing Tel Aviv liberals".

He said: "The majority of Israelis right now are right-wing.

"We are liberals and we believe in two states. The politicians keep going back to the same patterns, which have failed before.

"I think we need new blood in politics here."

Yuval also admitted he is ambivalent about the boycott, divestment and sanction campaigns' efforts to boycott Israeli artists and prevent international musicians performing in the Jewish state.

He explained: "I understand the instinct of what they see is trying to make a difference.

"On the other hand, the band is a target of the boycott.

"Boycotting Israel will lose a channel of communication with Israelis who do care about the current situation."

Vaadat Charigim's music has been described as "shoegazing", a subgenre of alternative rock which emerged in the UK in the 1980s.

Yuval said: "I have always liked music which is abstract and has ambience. I sometimes meditate along to that genre.

"There is something unaggressive about how it is composed - it is a kind of plateau which has more space."

Yuval grew up listening to Wire, Gang of Four and The Ramones.

In his early 20s, he discovered post-punk American music.

"I was in punk bands as a teenager," he recalled.

"We would go to Tel Aviv and hang out in Dizengoff Square, sit with a beer and wait for someone to offer us a gig."

Music is not actually his full-time job - he works as a music publicist to pay the bills.

"I wish I could do my music full-time, but it is not financially logical," Yuval said. "It is really expensive to live here in Israel."

Before Vaadat Charigim, Yuval was in a band called TV Buddhas, whose drummer, Mickey Triest, he is now married to.

They lived in Berlin for three years from 2009.

Yuval said: "We moved there as it made touring in Europe easier.

"Many young Israelis moved there and we had friends who had done it in the early 2000s.

"Perhaps it is to do with the claustrophobia of living in Israel - we do not have borders we can cross and we do not have many options here financially.

"When you grow up in that kind of situation, it does become really claustrophobic.

"It becomes antagonising, so you kind of want to revolt against it and find your own way."

And he said he never encountered any antisemitism while living in Germany.

Yuval added: "If you move there, as a Jew you can see it as a continuation of dialogue with history.

"You have to experience history 'live', too. I never had any issues with being Jewish in Germany.

"We did hundreds of shows there and there was never a problem."


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